Walk or Take a Statin?

Recent findings in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that inactivity outweighs all other risk factors for heart disease in women between the ages of 30 and 80. With the researchers supplying evidence that a high Body Mass Index (BMI), high blood pressure, and smoking were less harmful than a lack of daily movement.

Interestingly, this is in line with one of the largest and most highly referenced experiments on heart disease – The Framingham Study from Harvard Medical School. Which clearly shows, in the chart below, that the majority of the population (60%) is at risk of a heart attack because of inactivity.

CVD Risk - Framingham

So why are we being told to lower cholesterol?  

Good question.  Although that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

What’s worse, is that cholesterol isn’t even associated with heart disease in the first place  As despite conventional thinking, and current government and medical recommendations, the ‘Lipid Hypothesis’ is and always will be an unproven and widely discredited theory – a point I discussed in Eat Meat And Stop Jogging, and recently regurgitated in this YouTube video.

The truth is, lowering cholesterol is an unfavorable outcome to begin with. As we need cholesterol to add stability to membranes, synthesize key hormones and essential nutrients, and help our brain function.  With 25% of it located there, and low cholesterol levels associated with cognitive function – Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Depression.

And when it comes to your cardiovascular health, half the people with heart disease have low cholesterol, and half the people with high cholesterol have perfectly healthy hearts. Largely because atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the arteries, occurs because of inflammation and oxidation that takes place regardless of cholesterol levels!

For instance, when looking at the outcome for those that enrolled in the Framingham Study mentioned earlier.

80% of the participants who went on to develop heart disease had the same total cholesterol as those that didn’t.

Man-having-a-heart-attack

So why is there still a push to lower cholesterol?

Another great question.  And it can only be explained by what’s riding on the lipid hypothesis (STATINS!). Since research that opposes the theory continues to be excluded, and the upper threshold for statin prescription continues to fall:

  • In the early 90’s, doctors prescribed statins to inactive smokers with a cholesterol level of 240.
  • In 2014, the only requirement for statin prescription is a cholesterol level of 180!

Keeping in mind that this is the protocol for prescribing a drug to lower something (cholesterol) that’s unrelated to heart disease, and comes with serious side affects:

A 2008 review in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs identified 900 research studies that found adverse effects from statin use.

statin-drug-money

So What Do We Do?

Incorporate the 8 Steps I mention in my Heart Disease Deception Video:

1. Don’t Fear Cholesterol
2. Track Triglyceride-to-HDL Ratio
3. Monitor LDL Particle Size
4. Avoid Starchy Carbohydrates & Sugar
5. Cook With Saturated Fats (Butter, Coconut Oil)
6. Avoid Polyunsaturated Oils (Canola, Soybean)
7. Eat Fish or Take Fish Oil
8. WALK 30min DAILY!

Since, as the BJSM and Framingham Study identified, the majority of the population is more at risk of heart disease because of inactivity.  And as I just showed you, lowering cholesterol with a pharmaceutical drug is making your heart health (and overall health) far worse.  Compared to something as simple as walking, which has no downside and plenty of upside.

Walking lowers blood pressure and triglycerides, and significantly reduces your death risk from a heart attack or stroke. With this study showing that just just 11-20min lowers hypertension risk by 12% (and over 20min by 29%!)

Walking-Club

This recommendation is so basic that it’s commonly overlooked.  Take the stairs, walk to the grocery store, walk around the mall, do a few laps of the office, or putter around while you’re on the phone.  Just dedicate 2% of your day to walking and incorporate the 7 other steps I mention above, and you can:

Skip the Statins & Keep Your Cholesterol

Stay Lean!

Coach Mike


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